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Xiaomi's Redmi Note 8 2021 packs a 'new' CPU in a reused design (Updated: Price)

Just don't expect a complete rethink of what made the Note 8 special.

Published onMay 25, 2021

  • Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 8 2021.
  • It mates a newer Helio G85 processor with a familiar display and camera.

Update: May 25, 2021 (5:53 AM ET): Xiaomi has announced the price and availability details of the new Redmi Note 8 2021.

The 4GB RAM + 64GB storage model of the phone will retail at $169. Meanwhile, its 128GB storage version will cost $189.

The phone will be available for purchase via Xiaomi’s official sales channels starting today.

Original article: May 24, 2021 (4:50 PM ET): It didn’t take long for Xiaomi to confirm its Redmi Note 8 revival. The company has introduced the Redmi Note 8 2021 with a new processor and a familiar design — if not necessarily all the changes some might have expected.

The 2021 edition of the Redmi Note 8 switches from the original model’s Snapdragon 665 chip to the MediaTek Helio G85 found in the Note 9. It’s more of a step sideways than a step forward, but it does give you slightly newer processing power.

Read more: Xiaomi buyer’s guide

This will otherwise seem like a very familiar phone, for better or for worse. The Redmi Note 8 2021 touts the same 6.3-inch 1080p display (sorry, the rumored 120Hz panel isn’t here), 4GB of RAM, up to 128GB of expandable storage, and a rear camera array that includes a 48MP main sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide shooter, a 2MP macro cam, and a 2MP depth sensor. You’ll also find a 4,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging.

This model isn’t a thorough modernization of the Redmi Note 8 as a result. However, you might appreciate some of the carryovers, including a 3.5mm headphone jack and a slightly smaller display than the 6.5-inch Note 9.

Xiaomi hadn’t detailed the price and availability for the Note 8 2021 as of this writing.

The 2021 handset comes as Xiaomi marked sales of over 25 million units for the original Redmi Note 8. In that light, it could be considered a tribute to one of the Redmi brand’s best-known devices. However, it’s also launching in the middle of a worldwide chip shortage prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This launch lets Xiaomi sell a device built on older but relatively abundant chips (the G85 is built using an older 12-nanometer process) while it reserves cutting-edge parts for flagships like the Mi 11 series. Think of it more as a contingency than a reborn classic.

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